Hwang play struggled to attract crowds
Broadway play “Chinglish” has called it quits, setting a Jan. 29 closing date.The David Henry Hwang play, which earned mixed reviews from Gotham press, never built up enough box office momentum to sustain a Rialto run. Since beginning previews Oct. 11, weekly sales have never topped $400,000, and the last month has seen the show playing to less than 40% of capacity (except during the heavily-trafficked holiday frame). Directed by Leigh Silverman, “Chinglish” initially bowed at the Goodman Theater in Chicago, where the production nabbed critical acclaim that helped spur the transfer to Broadway’s Longacre Theater. Story centers on an American businessman struggling to navigate the cultural divide when he travels to China in an effort to expand his family business. Jennifer Lim, Gary Wilmes and Stephen Pucci star in the Broadway incarnation. “Chinglish” is one of several Main Stem outings this season from producers Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel, whose revised version of “Porgy and Bess” opened last week at the Richard Rodgers Theater and has initially posted solid sales. Tuner “Bonnie and Clyde,” on the other hand, eked out only a short run before shuttering Dec. 30. Next up for Richards and Frankel is “Gore Vidal’s the Best Man,” opening in April.
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